SA public sector gains from Web-enabled offerings

In a large and complex project that included moving one of the country’s largest MS SQL Database (housing 7.5 terabytes of data) to a Data Centre – and new hardware – as well as upgrading a highly customised SAP 4.7 version to ECCC6, Convergence Partners’ investee company, Britehouse successfully brought this important public sector project, the City of Tshwane, in on time and budget with no disruption to users

Although the City’s SAP solution was ageing out of support, the City’s primary objectives for the upgrade were to deploy new functionality and more effectively integrate existing SAP functionality to better support business processes.

“SAP has done a lot of development in the public services market to align its solution offering with the South African environment and requirements,” says City of Tshwane director of ICT Governance, Norms & Standards Management, Henk Brink.

“We wanted, therefore, to be able to exploit SAP solutions for strategic public sector objectives such as e-Services, CRM and Service Management, and Web enabled offerings – to provide citizens with the means to, for instance, perform self service through the Web from the comfort of their homes. In that context, the upgrade project was also aimed at enabling the City to expand on its Business Intelligence (BI) goals through the deployment of SAP BI products – providing management and other decision makers with relevant information faster.”

Additional municipalities

The project would not be just another upgrade, however, because, over the years, the City has incorporated a number of additional municipalities into the Metro and has customised its original SAP implementation extensively.

The City is also growing extremely rapidly. “At 7.5 terabytes, the City’s database is the biggest I’ve worked on in fifteen years of experience of large enterprises,” says Britehouse Operations Executive, Henk Jordaan.

“So, moving the existing system onto new hardware the City had acquired, but also moved the hardware to new premises in Centurion, should have been a daunting challenge”. Britehouse’s first step was to analyse the City’s existing SAP landscape and ensure that both the standard and customised elements of the system were fully understood and mapped before they were moved, and that the full scope of the project was known and effectively planned in detail beforehand.

“Britehouse used a tool from our partners, Panaya, to identify SAP Programs and specialized developments that would be problematic when migrating to the new environment. This created a solid platform for the project team to plan and address these problematic areas,” says Britehouse project manager, Deon du Preez.

“Panaya is a control mechanism that is used throughout the lifecycle of the project, identifying potential problematic programs and providing code fixes for these programmes.”

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